Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
Artists have the power to transform issues and ideas into something you can experience. Art doesn’t necessarily tell you how to combat an issue such as honor violence, but it can help convey what those in that situation might feel. At its best, art is compelling and can spur engagement with an issue. Most people know the feeling of being moved by a piece of art, whether that be a painting, a song or even a novel. I myself know this feeling well; as a child, Nancy Drew was a hero of mine who showed me that girls could be independent and have adventures. Her tales forever shaped my own future. This month we learned of two artists who have created pieces that highlight our core issues in a unique manner.
The first artist is Anthony Freda, a visual artist who has been working for years creating advertisements and pieces for the media but is drawn to more meaningful pursuits. He recently created a piece of work titled “Clash,” in honor of the work we do at the Foundation. We spoke to Anthony about his motivations behind his art, and why he chose to contribute to the Foundation with this piece. Read more here.
The second artist featured this month is Eris Perese. Ms. Perese is a novelist whose most recent book Abbey’s Search for Sanctuary deals with honor violence and FGM. In her interview with us she shares how an honor killing rocked her small town community and inspired this novel.
Finally this month, we are announcing a call for applications for the inaugural class of fellows to participate in our brand new campus program! This program will stimulate a dialogue among university students about the cultural and socio-religious ideas connected with Islam and the adaptability of those ideas to the values represented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Fellows will be responsible for hosting events on their campus that facilitate thought and discussion while earning a stipend and engaging with renown thought leaders and activists. To learn more about our campus programs and the fellowship read more here.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation
P.S. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read about my recent conversation with a journalist from The Wall Street Journal, you can read it here. In it, I share my argument for a war of ideas rather than a focus only on violent acts of terror. In failing to look beyond the violence, we’re ignoring the ideology underlying these acts.